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Cultural Change is Messy

We live in such an interesting time. Here in the U.S., the dynamics of our social culture is currently undergoing a period of intense change, and the way it is unfolding is awkward, messy, and often dangerously clumsy, with innocent people sometimes caught in the crossfire. In other words, it is happening exactly as might be expected if you look at cultural change through the lens of history.

Whenever an oppressed minority actively begins to fight for an equal place at the table, the leaders of the movement are, by necessity, abrasive and impossible to ignore – their job is be disruptive. They act as a social irritant, focusing all eyes on the injustice. The surrounding culture slowly begins to shift, often violently, and the conservative faction of the population will predictably resist the change. This is, after all, the definition of conservative thought – to maintain “traditional values.”

After this initial period of disruption in the social fabric, things begin to die down and may even seem to regress to “the way things used to be.” But to the trained observer, this seemingly dormant period is simply the precursor to the real show – the one where society suddenly begins to shift in an inexorable and unstoppable manner, integrating and recognizing the rights of the oppressed as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Because, of course, it is.